Happy (official) first day of summer! Many of us will be seeking ways to stay cool in spite of the heat, and sometimes that can mean packing up the family, the umbrella, and some cold drinks and heading off to the beach. While spontaneous trips can be fun, planning your beach trip ahead of time can mean the difference between a successful beach day and a rough one. To help you get the most out of your beach day, try downloading a few of these apps to your mobile device.
This app is available for free for Android phones and Apple phones. Use it to check water quality information for thousands of fresh and salt water beaches in North America, the Bahamas, and even Australia and New Zealand. This is particularly useful if you’re traveling to an unfamiliar location that has access to beaches, but its unclear how safe it is to actually get in the water. The app also provides other useful details for each beach, like how to get there, the availability of lifeguards, and how parking works.
MSW Surf Forecast
Also freely available for Android and iOS, you can use this app to check up on the surf forecast for your favorite beach. This is helpful if you’re traveling with little ones or just want to make sure you won’t be fighting the waves. Select beaches will also show you live looks at the beach and other media to supplement the forecast information. You can see wind, surf and other conditions for up to 7-days out; with a subscription you can see even further.
This is a great app to use daily, especially if you live in a state where you can practically set your clock to the afternoon rain showers. Available exclusively for iOS devices to the tune of $3.99, Dark Sky can give you the local weather forecast and provide warning down to the minute of when you can expect rain. Pull up the app early in the day, set the location to your destination, and see exactly when showers will begin so you’re off the beach before the storms roll in.
UV Index Widget-Worldwide
This one is also a free iOS exclusive. We all hope for bright sunny beach days, but it’s important to keep an eye on the UV index for the day. This app will give you the highest UV index forecast for the day, and show you the forecast for the next three days as well. If you set the app to send you notifications when the UV index in your location goes above a certain level, you can have a better idea of when it’s time to call it quits and head into the shade. Give yourself even more protection from the suns UV rays; use this app and properly apply sunscreen!
Other tips for a successful and safe beach trip?
- Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, and consider bringing along fresh fruit like grapes and watermelon to help you stay hydrated.
- Protect your feet from the heat – while they may not burn from walking across hot sand (or a hot parking lot), it can definitely still be uncomfortable. Throw on some sandals!
- Set a few 2-hour notifications on your phone to remind yourself to reapply your sunscreen if you’ll be out all day.